Mon 12 pm - 7:50pm ~ Tues 10 am - 5:50 pm ~ Wed 10 am - 5:50 pm ~ Thur 12 pm - 7:50 pm ~ Fri 10 am - 5:50 pm ~ Sat 10 am - 1:50 pm ~ Sun Closed
New York Times Bestsellers
Week of January 19, 2020
FICTION
#1  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 71)  
Where The Crawdads Sing
Book Jacket   Delia Owens
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780593103036 Owens (The Eye of the Elephant: An Epic Adventure in the African Wilderness), an experienced nature writer, puts her background to good use in her debut novel. Her descriptions of the Carolina coastal marsh add vibrancy to this story of Kya Clark, known as the Marsh Girl, who has survived alone there for years. Kya's story is intertwined with a 1969 murder mystery in which Kya is the chief suspect. The nature writing is lyrical, and narrator Cassandra Campbell does it justice. Unfortunately, the somewhat implausible mystery plot does not measure up to the quality of the nature prose, but the characters will keep listeners engaged. -Verdict A selection of Reese Witherspoon's book club, this should be a popular addition for most fiction collections despite its flaws.-Cynthia Jensen, Gladys Harrington Lib., Plano, TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A wild child's isolated, dirt-poor upbringing in a Southern coastal wilderness fails to shield her from heartbreak or an accusation of murder."The Marsh Girl," "swamp trash"Catherine "Kya" Clark is a figure of mystery and prejudice in the remote North Carolina coastal community of Barkley Cove in the 1950s and '60s. Abandoned by a mother no longer able to endure her drunken husband's beatings and then by her four siblings, Kya grows up in the careless, sometimes-savage company of her father, who eventually disappears, too. Alone, virtually or actually, from age 6, Kya learns both to be self-sufficient and to find solace and company in her fertile natural surroundings. Owens (Secrets of the Savanna, 2006, etc.), the accomplished co-author of several nonfiction books on wildlife, is at her best reflecting Kya's fascination with the birds, insects, dappled light, and shifting tides of the marshes. The girl's collections of shells and feathers, her communion with the gulls, her exploration of the wetlands are evoked in lyrical phrasing which only occasionally tips into excess. But as the child turns teenager and is befriended by local boy Tate Walker, who teaches her to read, the novel settles into a less magical, more predictable pattern. Interspersed with Kya's coming-of-age is the 1969 murder investigation arising from the discovery of a man's body in the marsh. The victim is Chase Andrews, "star quarterback and town hot shot," who was once Kya's lover. In the eyes of a pair of semicomic local police officers, Kya will eventually become the chief suspect and must stand trial. By now the novel's weaknesses have become apparent: the monochromatic characterization (good boy Tate, bad boy Chase) and implausibilities (Kya evolves into a polymatha published writer, artist, and poet), yet the closing twist is perhaps its most memorable oddity.Despite some distractions, there's an irresistible charm to Owens' first foray into nature-infused romantic fiction. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780735219090 In Owens's evocative debut, Kya Clark is a young woman growing up practically on her own in the wild marshes outside Barkley Cove, a small coastal community in North Carolina. In 1969, local lothario Chase Andrews is found dead, and Kya, now 23 and known as the "Marsh Girl," is suspected of his murder. As the local sheriff and his deputy gather evidence against her, the narrative flashes back to 1952 to tell Kya's story. Abandoned at a young age by her mother, she is left in the care of her hard-drinking father. Unable to fit in at school, Kya grows up ignorant until a shrimper's son, Tate Walker, befriends her and teaches her how to read. After Tate goes off to college, Kya meets Chase, with whom she begins a tempestuous relationship. The novel culminates in a long trial, with Kya's fate hanging in the balance. Kya makes for an unforgettable heroine. Owens memorably depicts the small-town drama and courtroom theatrics, but perhaps best of all is her vivid portrayal of the singular North Carolina setting. (Aug.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780735219090 Owens' (Secrets of the Savanna, 2006) first novel is a leisurely, lyrical tale of a young woman growing up in isolation in the 1950s and 60s, in a marsh on the North Carolina coast. Kya is abandoned by her troubled mother when she is only six. Soon after, her four, much-older siblings leave, as does her alcoholic father a couple of years later. As Kya matures and teaches herself to be a naturalist, she is torn between two slightly older boys: kind, observant Tate and rascally, attractive Chase. Chase dies falling from a fire tower in his twenties, and the investigation of his possible murder, which alternates with the story of Kya's coming-of-age, provides much of the novel's suspense. Because the characters are painted in broad, unambiguous strokes, this is not so much a naturalistic novel as a mythic one, with its appeal rising from Kya's deep connection to the place where she makes her home, and to all of its creatures.--Margaret Quamme Copyright 2018 Booklist
...More
#2  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Dear Edward
Book Jacket   Ann Napolitano
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781984854780 Twelve-year-old Eddie Adler is flying with his family from New York City to Los Angeles, a temporary relocation for his mother's television writing job. As he and his brother fight over who gets the window seat, their parents worry how the boys will cope with the move. The 216 passengers aboard their plane include a soldier returning from Afghanistan, an unexpectedly pregnant woman hoping for an engagement ring from her new boyfriend, and a dying tycoon. When the plane crashes in Colorado, Eddie is the sole survivor. Napolitano's (A Good Hard Look, 2011) latest follows Eddie in his struggle to build a new life without his family. Now living with his aunt and uncle, Eddie (now calling himself Edward) develops a relationship with Shay, his next door neighbor. Their relationship becomes the deep and stabilizing force in Edward's new life, and together they discover a cache of letters hidden in his uncle's garage that ultimately gives Edward's life new meaning. With its expert pacing and picture-perfect final page, Dear Edward is a wondrous read. It is a skillful and satisfying examination of not only what it means to survive, but of what it means to truly live.--Carol Gladstein Copyright 2019 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781984854780 Napolitano (A Good Hard Look) builds a gentle but persistent tension as she navigates the minds of passengers on a plane that is about to crash, and the thoughts of the boy who is the only survivor. Wonderfully detailed characters include Edward Adler, 12 years old at the time of the crash, who lives through the catastrophe, and Shay, who’s the same age and lives next to the aunt and uncle who take over for Edward’s dead parents. The story moves back and forth before and after the crash, when Edward struggles to physically and emotionally recover. Stories of his fellow passengers are woven throughout: Florida is a Filipina who remembers her past lives; Benjamin is a soldier who has just discovered he’s gay; and Veronica is an alluring flight attendant who tallies admiring stares. During Edward’s recovery between 2013 and 2019, he remembers some of these people, but in 2016, after finding hundreds of letters addressed to him from the families of the victims, Edward begins to discover his purpose. The potent prose brings readers close to the complex emotional and psychological fallout after tragedy. Edward’s intolerable losses and his eventual brave recovery is at first melancholy, but by the end, readers will feel a comforting sense of solace. Napolitano’s depiction of the nuances of post-trauma experiences is fearless, compassionate, and insightful. Agent: Julie Barer, the Book Group. (Jan.)
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A 12-year-old boy is the sole survivor of a plane crasha study in before and after.Edward Adler is moving to California with his adored older brother, Jordan, and their parents: Mom is a scriptwriter for television, Dad is a mathematician who is home schooling his sons. They will get no further than Colorado, where the plane goes down. Napolitano's (A Good Hard Look, 2011, etc.) novel twins the narrative of the flight from takeoff to impact with the story of Edward's life over the next six years. Taken in by his mother's sister and her husband, a childless couple in New Jersey, Edward's misery is constant and almost impermeable. Unable to bear sleeping in the never-used nursery his aunt and uncle have hastily appointed to serve as his bedroom, he ends up bunking next door, where there's a kid his age, a girl named Shay. This friendship becomes the single strand connecting him to the world of the living. Meanwhile, in alternating chapters, we meet all the doomed airplane passengers, explore their backstories, and learn about their hopes and plans, every single one of which is minutes from obliteration. For some readers, Napolitano's premise will be too dark to bear, underlining our terrible vulnerability to random events and our inability to protect ourselves or our children from the worst-case scenario while also imagining in exhaustive detail the bleak experience of survival. The people around Edward have no idea how to deal with him; his aunt and uncle try their best to protect him from the horrors of his instant celebrity as Miracle Boy. As one might expect, there is a ray of light for Edward at the end of the tunnel, and for hardier readers this will make Napolitano's novel a story of hope.Well-written and insightful but so heartbreaking that it raises the question of what a reader is looking for in fiction. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781984854780 Imagine the pain of losing a single family member. Now, imagine getting on a plane with your entire family, both parents and an older brother, and when the plane crashes, you are the only passenger to survive. Such is the fate of 12-year-old Eddie Adler in this penetrating new novel from Napolitano (A Good Hard Look). Eddie awakens in the hospital with no immediate family, a huge social media presence as a celebrity survivor, an unshakable sense of hollowness, unsteady memories that can flare up painfully like a forest fire, and the need to understand who he is now, because in a tragedy like this, you don't just lose your future, you lose your past. He even effectively gets a new name; he becomes Edward when he goes to live with his aunt and uncle in New Jersey. Edward does go forward, in illuminating if unexpected ways. But what makes this narrative so effective is its alternating between the ordinary events unfolding on the flight and the aftermath of the crash, which keeps the sense of loss and the significance of what has happened fresh in readers' minds. VERDICT The painfully vivid story of one boy's coming of age redirected by tragedy.—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
...More
 
#3  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Moral Compass
 Danielle Steel
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399179532 Massachusetts-based Saint Ambrose Prep, where the wealthy send their children so they, too, can become Ivy League top dogs, has enrolled female students for the first time. By Halloween, one young woman has landed in the hospital, and the few students who know what happened have sworn one another to secrecy.
...More
  Book Jacket
#4  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 2)  
Such A Fun Age
 Kiley Reid
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. The relationship between a privileged white mom and her black babysitter is strained by race-related complications.Blogger/role model/inspirational speaker Alix Chamberlain is none too happy about moving from Manhattan to Philadelphia for her husband Peter's job as a TV newscaster. With no friends or in-laws around to help out with her almost-3-year-old, Briar, and infant, Catherine, she'll never get anywhere on the book she's writing unless she hires a sitter. She strikes gold when she finds Emira Tucker. Twenty-five-year-old Emira's family and friends expect her to get going on a career, but outside the fact that she's about to get kicked off her parents' health insurance, she's happy with her part-time gigsand Briar is her "favorite little human." Then one day a double-header of racist events topples the apple cartEmira is stopped by a security guard who thinks she's kidnapped Briar, and when Peter's program shows a segment on the unusual ways teenagers ask their dates to the prom, he blurts out "Let's hope that last one asked her father first" about a black boy hoping to go with a white girl. Alix's combination of awkwardness and obsession with regard to Emira spins out of control and then is complicated by the reappearance of someone from her past (coincidence alert), where lies yet another racist event. Reid's debut sparkles with sharp observations and perfect detailsfood, dcor, clothes, social media, etc.and she's a dialogue genius, effortlessly incorporating toddler-ese, witty boyfriend-speak, and African American Vernacular English. For about two-thirds of the book, her evenhandedness with her varied cast of characters is impressive, but there's a point at which any possible empathy for Alix disappears. Not only is she shallow, entitled, unknowingly racist, and a bad mother, but she has not progressed one millimeter since high school, and even then she was worse than we thought. Maybe this was intentional, but it does make thingsha havery black and white.Charming, challenging, and so interesting you can hardly put it down. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525541905 Emira is an educated, Black, 25-year-old babysitter partying late one night when she gets a frantic call to babysit at the last minute. In high heels and a miniskirt, she brings the white toddler along to an upscale grocery store, where she is confronted by a security guard who accuses her of kidnapping the child. Kelley, a concerned white bystander, films the altercation, which leaves Emira shaken. He emails her the video clip, but Emira is not interested in sharing it with anyone. Her white employer, Alix Chamberlain, is a successful and influential mompreneur who overcompensates for the incident and handles Emira with kid gloves. Meanwhile, Emira starts dating Kelley, who, unbeknownst to her, had a traumatic romance with Alix many years ago. Tensions mount amidst unresolved pain between Kelley and Alix, and Emira's discontent with her life and how sharply it contrasts with that of her employer. In her smart and timely debut, Reid has her finger solidly on the pulse of the pressures and ironies inherent in social media, privilege, modern parenting, racial tension, and political correctness.--Andrienne Cruz Copyright 2019 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525541905 In the midst of a family crisis one late evening, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her African American babysitter, Emira, asking her to take toddler Briar to the local market for distraction. There, the security guard accuses Emira of kidnapping Briar, and Alix's efforts to right the situation turn out to be good intentions selfishly mismanaged.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525541905 In her debut, Reid crafts a nuanced portrait of a young black woman struggling to define herself apart from the white people in her life who are all too ready to speak and act on her behalf. Emira Tucker knows that the one thing she’s unequivocally good at is taking care of children, specifically the two young daughters, Briar and Catherine, of her part-time employer, Alix Chamberlain. However, about to turn 26 and lose her parents’ health insurance, and while watching her friends snatch up serious boyfriends and enviable promotions, Temple grad Emira starts to feel ashamed about “still” babysitting. This humiliation is stoked after she’s harassed by security personnel at an upscale Philadelphia grocery store where she’d taken three-year-old Briar. Emira later develops a romantic relationship with Kelley, the young white man who captured cellphone video of the altercation, only to discover that Kelley and Alix have a shared and uncomfortable past, one that traps Emira in the middle despite assertions that everyone has her best interests at heart. Reid excels at depicting subtle variations and manifestations of self-doubt, and astutely illustrates how, when coupled with unrecognized white privilege, this emotional and professional insecurity can result in unintended—as well as willfully unseen—consequences. This is an impressive, memorable first outing. Agent: Claudia Ballard, WME Entertainment. (Jan.)
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525541905 DEBUT Say you're a white, professional woman in the midst of a late-evening crisis. Would you call your African American babysitter, catching her at a friend's birthday party, and ask her to come tend to your toddler? Say you're that African American babysitter. After taking your charge to the local market, wouldn't you be annoyed, then humiliated, then downright scared and angry when a security guard accuses you of kidnapping? Say you're that white woman, wanting to right this wrong, and giving the sitter a raise or an edible arrangement isn't quite the right path. Would you go crusading with self-righteous, even self-serving zeal, not really checking in with what your babysitter wants or needs? If you were that babysitter, what would be your next move? Especially if you loved that toddler and thought you were good at your job? Aren't you curious to find out how put-upon Emira deals with her clueless brand-marketer boss? VERDICT In her debut novel, Reid illuminates difficult truths about race, society, and power with a fresh, light hand. We're all familiar with the phrases white privilege and race relations, but rarely has a book vivified these terms in such a lucid, absorbing, graceful, forceful, but unforced way. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]—Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
...More
  Book Jacket
 
#5  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 13)  
The Guardians
Book Jacket   John Grisham
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780385544184 A lack of nuance mars this novel from bestseller Grisham (The Reckoning), which centers on idealistic attorneys fighting wrongful convictions. Cullen Post, who became a Lutheran minister after burning out as a public defender, is working as a lawyer again in Savannah, Ga., where he runs Guardian Ministries, which helps convicts whose claims of innocence he and his three colleagues, including a man he helped free from incarceration, deem worth investigating. In the first chapter, Duke Russell is minutes away from execution when Post’s request for a stay is granted, giving him time to pursue his belief that Duke wasn’t in fact guilty of raping and murdering a woman 11 years earlier. Guardian Ministries is also seeking to prove that Quincy Miller is innocent of the shotgun murder of his former attorney, Keith Russo, in Seabrook, Fla., and deserves his freedom. Post and his allies diligently attack the flimsy forensic and eyewitness evidence used to convict Miller. A conspiracy subplot related to one of Post’s cases, involving especially sadistic bad guys and an international angle, feels out of place. Readers who like their legal thrillers dosed with ethical ambiguities should look elsewhere. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (Oct.)
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780385544184 This just in: a new legal thriller is coming in October from the No. 1 New York Times best-selling author. No word on plot, but eminently purchasable.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780385544184 Cullen Post works for the Guardian Ministries, a shoestring operation that tries to get wrongfully convicted people out of jail. At the top of Post's to-do list is a Black man, Quincy Miller, who has been in prison for 22 years after being convicted of the murder of his divorce lawyer. But the evidence is shaky at best: the shotgun used in the crime was never found, and a flashlight with a supposed blood spatter disappeared from evidence. Further bolstering Post's case, an expert who testified for the prosecution about the blood spatter on the missing flashlight has since been discredited as a charlatan. Post thinks Miller may have been the fall guy for a drug-cartel hit. The murdered lawyer took minor civil cases to keep up appearances, but his primary moneymaker was the drug cartel. If the cartel can keep the murder pinned on Miller, it's in the clear. Grisham novels have a cinematic feel to them. A Time to Kill (1989), The Firm (1991), and The Rainmaker (1995) have all been successful motion pictures. The Guardians could be next on the list; it's an excellent legal thriller with a strong social-justice component.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Grisham's readers are legion, and they will be prepped for his latest, which finds the perennial chart-topper in great form.--Wes Lukowsky Copyright 2019 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. The prolific Grisham (The Reckoning, 2018, etc.) turns in another skillfully told procedural.Pay attention to the clerical collar that Cullen Post occasionally dons in Grisham's latest legal thriller. Post comes by the garb honestly, being both priest and investigative lawyer, his Guardian Ministries devoted to freeing inmates who have been wrongly imprisoned. Says an adversary at the start of the book, learning that his conviction is about to be overturned, "Is this a joke, Post?" Post replies: "Oh sure. Nothing but laughs over here on death row." Aided by an Atlantan whom he sprang from the slam earlier, Post turns his energies to trying to do the same for Quincy Miller, a black man imprisoned for the murder of a white Florida lawyer who "had been shot twice in the head with a 12-gauge shotgun, and there wasn't much left of his face." It's to such icky details that Post's meticulous mind turns: Why a shotgun and not a pistol, as most break-ins involve? Who would have done such a thingsurely not the guy's wife, and surely not for a measly $2 million in life insurance? As Grisham strews the path with red herrings, Post, though warned off by a smart forensic scientist, begins to sniff out clues that point to a culprit closer to the courtroom bench than the sandy back roads of rural Florida. Grisham populates his yarn with occasionally goofy detailsa prosecuting attorney wants Post disbarred "for borrowing a pubic hair" from the evidence in a casebut his message is constant throughout: The "innocent people rotting away in prison" whom Post champions are there because they are black and brown, put there by mostly white jurors, and the real perp "knew that a black guy in a white town would be much easier to convict." The tale is long and sometimes plods, especially in its courtroom scenes, but it has a satisfying payoffand look out for that collar at the end.Fansand Grisham has endless numbers of themwill be pleased. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
...More
#6  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Long Bright River
Book Jacket   Liz Moore
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780525540670 Mickey Fitzpatrick is a beat cop in Philadelphia's rough Kensington neighborhood, not far from where she grew up in her grandmother's literally and figuratively cold house. In childhood, her saving grace was her younger sister, Kacey, who was friendly in contrast to Mickey's painful shyness and tough as opposed to Mickey's meek. But the distance that developed as they hit adolescence widened into a chasm as Kacey fell deeper into heroin addiction. Mickey is used to not seeing her sister, but as young women, all addicts and sex workers, start being found dead in Kensington, she realizes that her sister's absence may be something more sinister. One of the pleasures of this deeply moving, absolutely page-turning novel is the way Moore (The Unseen World, 2016), in both the present and in flashbacks to Mickey and Kacey's childhood and teen years, slowly peels back layer after layer, revealing the old-boy's network in the Philadelphia police force, the depths of Mickey's loneliness, and the way the city of Philadelphia, particularly Kensington, is woven into this story, for good or ill. Give this to readers who like character-driven crime novels with a strong sense of place.--Susan Maguire Copyright 2010 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525540670 Two sisters, thick as thieves when they were children being raised by a bitter grandmother, are now estranged as adults. Kacey is a prostitute, lost to the streets of Kensington, a Philadelphia neighborhood, and feeding the same need for opioids that killed the sisters' mother. Single parent Mickey, a police officer working that same neighborhood, is valiantly juggling the demands of adored four-year-old son Thomas and a job she loves. Mickey is drawn into a string of murders of prostitutes, terrified that her missing sister may be the next victim and alarmed that the Philadelphia Police Department does not seem to be following crucial leads. Mickey reaches out to an old partner for help, but ultimately she conducts a solo search for her sister that imperils all she holds dear and drags her back to a past riddled with unanswered questions. VERDICT In her fourth novel (following The Unseen World), Rome Prize-winning author Moore blends the reality of today's deadly opioid crisis with a complicated family dynamic to create an intense mystery with stunning twists and turns. Impossible to put down, impossible to forget. [See Prepub Alert, 7/1/19.]—Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525540670 The Rome Prize winner of Heft and An Unseen World introduces us to two once-close sisters walking the same Philadelphia street. But Mickey is a beat cop, dedicated to her work and relentlessly worried about Kacey, a drug addict. Then Kacey disappears at a time when a series of murders erupt in the environs. Big in-house raves.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A young Philadelphia policewoman searches for her addicted sister on the streets.The title of Moore's (The Unseen World, 2016, etc.) fourth novel refers to "a long bright river of departed souls," the souls of people dead from opioid overdoses in the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington. The book opens with a long paragraph that's just a list of names, most of whom don't have a role in the plot, but the last two entries are key: "Our mother. Our father." As the novel opens, narrator Mickey Fitzpatricka bright but emotionally damaged single momis responding with her partner to a call. A dead girl has turned up in an abandoned train yard frequented by junkies. Mickey is terrified that it will be her estranged sister, Kacey, whom she hasn't seen in a while. The two were raised by their grandmother, a cold, bitter woman who never recovered from the overdose death of the girls' mother. Mickey herself is awkward and tense in all social situations; when she talks about her childhood she mentions watching the other kids from the window, trying to memorize their mannerisms so she could "steal them and use them [her]self." She is close with no one except her 4-year-old son, Thomas, whom she barely sees because she works so much, leaving him with an unenthusiastic babysitter. Opioid abuse per se is not the focus of the actionthe book centers on the search for Kacey. Obsessed with the possibility that her sister will end up dead before she can find her, Mickey breaches protocol and makes a series of impulsive decisions that get her in trouble. The pace is frustratingly slow for most of the book, then picks up with a flurry of revelations and developments toward the end, bringing characters onstage we don't have enough time to get to know. The narrator of this atmospheric crime novel has every reason to be difficult and guarded, but the reader may find her no easier to bond with than the other characters do.With its flat, staccato tone and mournful mood, it's almost as if the book itself were suffering from depression. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525540670 Moore (The Unseen World) weaves a police procedural and a family drama into a captivating novel. Mickey Fitzpatrick, a single mother, is an officer for the Philadelphia PD, tasked with patrolling Kensington, a neighborhood devastated by opioid addiction. Drugs have impacted Mickey’s life as well: her mother died of an overdose, her father, also an addict, is thought dead after disappearing, and her estranged younger sister, Kasey, is a known user and prostitute. While on her beat, Mickey tries to keep tabs on Kasey by speaking to locals and shop owners, but when Kasey vanishes amid a flurry of unsolved murders of women in the neighborhood, Mickey dedicates herself to finding Kasey and the killer, all the while praying her sister isn’t the next victim. Moore breaks her novel into sections labeled “Then” and “Now,” filling each with short, direct chapters that explore Mickey and Kasey’s history while also propelling the narrative’s murder mystery. The author presents several characters as the potential killer, and though seasoned readers may guess the culprit long before the reveal, Mickey’s personal journey that runs parallel to her pursuit is smartly crafted. Filled with strong characters and a layered plot, this will please fans of both genre and literary fiction. (Jan.)
...More
 
#7  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 32)  
The Silent Patient
 Alex Michaelides
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250301697 DEBUT Psychotherapist Theo Faber is obsessed with the case of Alicia Berenson, an artist convicted of murdering her husband six years ago. Ever since she was found standing over his dead body, splattered with blood, she's remained silent, not even speaking up in her own defense at trial. When the judge sentences her to Grove Psychiatric Hospital instead of prison. Theo sees his opportunity to work with her firsthand, leaving a more prestigious and stable job to work at the financially strapped hospital. Through Theo's first-person narration and excerpts from Alicia's diary that document events taking place before the murder, readers slowly learn about the circumstances leading to the deadly event. As Theo struggles to connect with mute Alicia and secretly conducts his own investigation into her past, he hopes to uncover clues about her marriage and what set off such a violent episode, wrestling with his own psychological demons along the way. Clever plotting, red herrings, and multiple twists ensure most readers will be surprised by the ending of this debut thriller from screenwriter (The Devil You Know) Michaelides. -VERDICT Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable. [See Prepub Alert, 9/17/18.]-Kiera Parrott, Library Journal © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A woman accused of shooting her husband six times in the face refuses to speak."Alicia Berenson was thirty-three years old when she killed her husband. They had been married for seven years. They were both artistsAlicia was a painter, and Gabriel was a well-known fashion photographer." Michaelides' debut is narrated in the voice of psychotherapist Theo Faber, who applies for a job at the institution where Alicia is incarcerated because he's fascinated with her case and believes he will be able to get her to talk. The narration of the increasingly unrealistic events that follow is interwoven with excerpts from Alicia's diary. Ah, yes, the old interwoven diary trick. When you read Alicia's diary you'll conclude the woman could well have been a novelist instead of a painter because it contains page after page of detailed dialogue, scenes, and conversations quite unlike those in any journal you've ever seen. " 'What's the matter?' 'I can't talk about it on the phone, I need to see you.' 'It's justI'm not sure I can make it up to Cambridge at the minute.' 'I'll come to you. This afternoon. Okay?' Something in Paul's voice made me agree without thinking about it. He sounded desperate. 'Okay. Are you sure you can't tell me about it now?' 'I'll see you later.' Paul hung up." Wouldn't all this appear in a diary as "Paul wouldn't tell me what was wrong"? An even more improbable entry is the one that pins the tail on the killer. While much of the book is clumsy, contrived, and silly, it is while reading passages of the diary that one may actually find oneself laughing out loud.Amateurish, with a twist savvy readers will see coming from a mile away. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781250317544 Michaelides's debut is a captivating study of the characters linked to Alicia Berenson, a famous painter who inexplicably shot the husband she loved and then chose never to utter a single word again-not even to defend herself as she was tried and then institutionalized in a secure psychiatric facility in London. Theo Faber, a psychotherapist determined to help Alicia, tells the story of how he tried to unlock her secrets and get her talking again. Sandwiched between his storytelling, Michaelides scatters entries from Alicia's diary of the days leading to that ill-fated night to help build suspense and intrigue. Some aspects of the story seemed predictable, but the emotional twists and amazing turns will carry readers through the most contrived plot points. The narration by Jack Hawkins and Louise Brealey is like a two-person theatrical performance. Hawkins artfully uses different voices to portray each character, capturing the emotion and complexity of each individual. Brealey's reading of the diary stirs empathy and a deep understanding of Alicia's tragic character. Verdict The book is receiving much-deserved buzz, but the audio production and exceptional narration make the characters feel real. ["Dark, edgy, and compulsively readable": LJ 11/1/18 review of the Celadon hc.]-Gladys Alcedo, -Wallingford, CT © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781250301697 Alicia Berenson is a famous painter, living a life that many envy with her handsome fashion-photographer husband, Gabriel. With a gorgeous house, complete with a painting studio, and that perfect marriage, Alicia couldn't be happier. Until one day Gabriel comes home late from work, and Alicia shoots him in the face. In the brutal aftermath that leads to an indefinite stay in a psychiatric hospital, Alicia mutely accepts her punishment. Forensic psychotherapist Theo Faber is put in charge of her therapy; however, since the night of the shooting, she hasn't spoken a word. With a nod to Greek mythology, art, and love, debut novelist Michaelides effectively blurs the lines between psychosis and sanity. Multiple story lines are told with a writing style that combines past diary entries with present-day prose, becoming more tangled as they weave together, keeping readers on edge, guessing and second-guessing. The Silent Patient is unputdownable, emotionally chilling, and intense, with a twist that will make even the most seasoned suspense reader break out in a cold sweat.--Erin Holt Copyright 2018 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250301697 Psychotherapist Theo Faber, the emotionally fragile narrator of Michaelides's superb first novel, finagles his way to a job at the Grove, a "secure forensic unit" in North London, where artist Alicia Berenson has been housed for six years since she was convicted of murdering her prominent fashion photographer husband, Gabriel. The evidence against Alicia was clear-Gabriel was tied to a chair and shot several times in the face with a gun that had only her fingerprints. Since the day of her arrest, Alicia has never said a word. Before the murder, Alicia painted a provocative self-portrait entitled Alcestis, based on a Greek myth that seemed to echo her life. Her current therapists reluctantly agree to let Theo treat the heavily drugged Alicia to get her to speak. The boundary between doctor and patient blurs as Theo, who admits he became a therapist "because I was fucked-up," seeks to cure his own emotional problems in the course of treating Alicia. This edgy, intricately plotted psychological thriller establishes Michaelides as a major player in the field. 200,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Sam Copeland, Rogers, Coleridge & White (U.K.). (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
...More
  Book Jacket
#8  (Last Week: 5 • Weeks on List: 16)  
The Dutch House
 Ann Patchett
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780062963673 A 1920s mansion worms into the lives of the broken family that occupies it in another masterly novel from Patchett (Commonwealth). In 1945, Brooklyn-born real-estate entrepreneur Cyril Conroy purchases the Dutch House in Elkins Park, outside Philadelphia, and presents it, complete with Delft mantels, life-size portraits of the original owners, a ballroom, and staff, to his wife. She hates it. She runs away to serve the poor, abandoning her 10-year-old daughter, Maeve, and three-year-old son, Danny. Five years later, Maeve and Danny meet Conroy’s second wife. The second Mrs. Conroy adores the house. When Cyril dies, she keeps it, dispossessing Maeve and Danny of any inheritance except funds for Danny’s education, which they use to send Danny to Choate, Columbia, and medical school. Grown-up Danny narrates, remembering his sister as an unswerving friend and protector. For Patchett, family connection comes not from formal ties or ceremonies but from shared moments: Danny accompanying his father to work, Danny’s daughter painting her grandmother’s fingernails, Maeve and Danny together trying to decode the past. Despite the presence of a grasping stepmother, this is no fairy tale, and Patchett remarkably traces acts of cruelty and kindness through three generations of a family over 50 years. Patchett’s splendid novel is a thoughtful, compassionate exploration of obsession and forgiveness, what people acquire, keep, lose or give away, and what they leave behind. (Sept.)
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Their mother's disappearance cements an unbreakable connection between a pair of poor-little-rich-kid siblings.Like The Children's Crusade by Ann Packer or Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach, this is a deeply pleasurable book about a big house and the family that lives in it. Toward the end of World War II, real estate developer and landlord Cyril Conroy surprises his wife, Elna, with the keys to a mansion in the Elkins Park neighborhood of Philadelphia. Elna, who had no idea how much money her husband had amassed and still thought they were poor, is appalled by the luxurious property, which comes fully furnished and complete with imposing portraits of its former owners (Dutch people named VanHoebeek) as well as a servant girl named Fluffy. When her son, Danny, is 3 and daughter, Maeve, is 10, Elna's antipathy for the place sends her on the lamfirst occasionally, then permanently. This leaves the children with the household help and their rigid, chilly father, but the difficulties of the first year pale when a stepmother and stepsisters appear on the scene. Then those problems are completely dwarfed by further misfortune. It's Danny who tells the story, and he's a wonderful narrator, stubborn in his positions, devoted to his sister, and quite clear about various errorslike going to medical school when he has no intention of becoming a doctorwhile utterly committed to them. "We had made a fetish out of our disappointment," he says at one point, "fallen in love with it." Casually stated but astute observations about human nature are Patchett's (Commonwealth, 2016, etc.) stock in trade, and she again proves herself a master of aging an ensemble cast of characters over many decades. In this story, only the house doesn't change. You will close the book half believing you could drive to Elkins Park and see it.Like the many-windowed mansion at its center, this richly furnished novel gives brilliantly clear views into the lives it contains. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780062963673 The Conroys kept the portraits of the stalwart VanHoebeeks, the wealthy builders of the so-called Dutch House, on display even as their own family fractured. A self-made real-estate magnate, Cyril bought the fully furnished mansion in a prosperous Philadelphia suburb to surprise his wife, catastrophically oblivious to her temperament and values. Cyril's son Danny has scant impressions of his long-gone mother, but his older sister, Maeve, cherishes her memories. After their father fails, once again, to gauge the situation and remarries, the mysteriously motherless yet privileged siblings are abruptly banished from their stately home and left penniless. This inspires brainy, mordant, unconventional, and fiercely self-sufficient Maeve to redouble her devotion to her brother. Patchett (Commonwealth, 2016) is at her subtle yet shining finest in this gloriously incisive, often droll, quietly suspenseful drama of family, ambition, and home. As Maeve and Danny dwell in ""their own paradise of memory,"" their bond takes precedence over all else in their lives, including Danny's marriage, while Maeve's love life remains cloaked to Danny but heartbreakingly clear to readers. With echoes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and in sync with Alice McDermott, Patchett gracefully choreographs surprising revelations and reunions as her characters struggle with questions of heredity, altruism, forgiveness, social expectations, and the need to be one's true self.--Donna Seaman Copyright 2010 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780062963673 This latest from Patchett (Commonwealth) is a decadeslong family saga centered on a piece of real estate. Narrator Danny recalls his troubled childhood in the stately Philadelphia-area mansion purchased by his father, who was striving for a level of elegance and comfort that Danny's ascetic mother, an aspiring nun before marriage, could never accept. Largely raised by his saintly sister, Maeve, and a small household staff after his mother runs off to India in the footsteps of Mother Teresa, Danny forms an unbreakable bond with Maeve and a shared obsession with the Dutch House, from which he and Maeve are banned by Andrea, their egotistical stepmother, after their father's early death. The siblings structure their lives around the tragic loss of their home, sublimating their feelings of parental neglect into an all-encompassing loathing of Andrea. VERDICT Not all of Patchett's characters, particularly Maeve, are fully developed or believable, perhaps because of the narrator's own limited powers of observation; Danny more than once acknowledges his own lazy inattention to the people who care for him. Still, this is an affecting family drama that explores the powerful tug of nostalgia and the exclusionary force of shared resentments.—Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY
...More
  Book Jacket
 
#9  (Last Week: 8 • Weeks on List: 14)  
The Giver Of Stars
Book Jacket   Jojo Moyes
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Women become horseback librarians in 1930s Kentucky and face challenges from the landscape, the weather, and the men around them.Alice thought marrying attractive American Bennett Van Cleve would be her ticket out of her stifling life in England. But when she and Bennett settle in Baileyville, Kentucky, she realizes that her life consists of nothing more than staying in their giant house all day and getting yelled at by his unpleasant father, who owns a coal mine. She's just about to resign herself to a life of boredom when an opportunity presents itself in the form of a traveling horseback libraryan initiative from Eleanor Roosevelt meant to counteract the devastating effects of the Depression by focusing on literacy and learning. Much to the dismay of her husband and father-in-law, Alice signs up and soon learns the ropes from the library's leader, Margery. Margery doesn't care what anyone thinks of her, rejects marriage, and would rather be on horseback than in a kitchen. And even though all this makes Margery a town pariah, Alice quickly grows to like her. Along with several other women (including one black woman, Sophia, whose employment causes controversy in a town that doesn't believe black and white people should be allowed to use the same library), Margery and Alice supply magazines, Bible stories, and copies of books like Little Women to the largely poor residents who live in remote areas. Alice spends long days in terrible weather on horseback, but she finally feels happy in her new life in Kentucky, even as her marriage to Bennett is failing. But her powerful father-in-law doesn't care for Alice's job or Margery's lifestyle, and he'll stop at nothing to shut their library down. Basing her novel on the true story of the Pack Horse Library Project established by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s, Moyes (Still Me, 2018, etc.) brings an often forgotten slice of history to life. She writes about Kentucky with lush descriptions of the landscape and tender respect for the townspeople, most of whom are poor, uneducated, and grateful for the chance to learn. Although Alice and Margery both have their own romances, the true power of the story is in the bonds between the women of the library. They may have different backgrounds, but their commitment to helping the people of Baileyville brings them together.A love letter to the power of books and friendship. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399562488 An adventure story grounded in female competence and mutual support, and an obvious affection for the popular literature of the early 20th century, give this Depression-era novel plenty of appeal. Alice Wright escapes her stifling English family by marrying an American, but this choice leads to further misery in the rural Kentucky household of her unaffectionate husband and his domineering father, the owner of the local coal mine. She finds respite in riding with the women of the new WPA-sponsored horseback library. She’s sustained by her friendships with the other women, especially the brash, self-sufficient Margery O’Hare, and the appreciation of the isolated families she serves. But powerful men in Baileyville oppose the library, as it employs a black woman, influences women and children’s minds with fiction, encourages previously illiterate families to defend their rights against encroaching mining companies, and teaches women about intimacy through a secret copy of Married Love. Moyes (Still Me) stereotypes her antagonists a bit, but provides tremendous warmth among the librarians and centers their perspectives thoroughly. There’s plenty of drama, but the reader’s lasting impression is one of love. Agent: Sheila Crowley, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Oct.)
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399562488 Moyes's 16th book (after Still Me) takes place in Depression-era Kentucky, where bride Alice Wright is trying to fit in. This is not how she imagined her glamorous American life when she left her native England. Her new husband, Bennett Van Cleve, is ruled by his overbearing father, and even the family housekeeper views her with suspicion. When a local woman asks for volunteers for the WPA Packhorse Library, Alice steps forward, despite the objections of her father-in-law and husband. From Marge, the fiercely independent and unconventional woman who runs the library, to Sophia, who left the Louisville "colored" library to care for her brother, the story of these packhorse librarians unfolds as they bring books to the people living in poverty in the Appalachian hills and fight the prejudice against women and African Americans that may result in the library being closed. A murder and unrest among the coal miners add to a tale of a fascinating and difficult time. VERDICT Rich in history, with well-developed characters and a strong sense of place, this book will fit well in any library's fiction collection. For fans of Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants or Catherine Marshall's Christy. [See Prepub Alert, 4/15/19; "Fall Fireworks," LJ 8/19.]—Terry Lucas, Shelter Island P.L., NY
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399562488 When Alice marries the charming, athletic Bennett Van Cleve, she imagines bustling city life in America, so unlike her staid English existence. But when she gets to Baileyville, Kentucky, she finds her peers are suspicious and gossipy, her house is a shrine to Bennett's late mother, and her father-in-law sleeps in the room next door. Desperate and lonely, she surprises herself by volunteering to help with the new Baileyville Packhorse Library, run by the indomitable Margery O'Hare, who has an unsavory reputation as a moonshiner's daughter, though no one dares say it to her face. Of course, spreading education and information, especially to the womenfolk, threatens the man who runs the coal mine Alice's father-in-law. Readers familiar with Moyes' very British narrative voice will be thrilled that she translates seamlessly into Appalachian, and she weaves a tough sort of protofeminism in with labor unrest and romance in this story that doesn't stereotype but lifts up the work of the women who run the library and the lives they impact. There are tears and laughter in this homage to the power of reading and the strength of community.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Moyes is a must-read for women's fiction fans, and her newest historical tale is already in development with Universal Pictures.--Susan Maguire Copyright 2010 Booklist
...More
#10  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Treason
Book Jacket   Stuart Woods
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780593083192 There's a mole in her agency, says U.S. Secretary of State Holly Barker, who comes to Stone Barrington, her occasional lover, for help. This is not only a potential problem for national security but also one that needs to be solved before Barker declares as a candidate for the presidency. So Barrington, now a CIA deputy director, thinks an off-the-books investigation is in order, which takes the jet-setting Barrington to various high-level events in Paris and New York. Along the way, he meets the dangerous Russian oligarch Yevgeny Chekhov and the enigmatic Peter Grant, whose background is a blank. Then Barrington's new acquaintance and bedmate, Vanessa Baker, who owns a string of bakeries in New York, is poisoned by a toxin known to be used by Russians, spurring his quest for answers. Despite a hasty wrap-up, this is trademark Woods, with Barrington's Bondian need for luxury and sex satisfied as he mixes with the rich and beautiful in posh settings. Smooth escapism for voyeurs everywhere.--Michele Leber Copyright 2019 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780593083192 In bestseller Woods’s serviceable 52nd Stone Barrington novel (after 2019’s Stealth), CIA director Lance Cabot calls on New York attorney Stone, a part-time CIA consultant, for help in exposing a State Department mole who’s working for the Russians. Stone is soon distracted by airplane broker Callie Stevens, who persuades him to buy a private jet, an upgrade for his existing one, in a deal that goes smoothly until, in an undeveloped subplot, an act of vandalism on the new jet suggests that Callie’s ex-husband is out to get her. Stone flies his new plane to Paris, where by chance he encounters American entrepreneur Peter Grant, who may be in thrall to Russian oligarch Yevgeny Chekhov. A poisoning and a murder raise the stakes as Stone’s dealings with the shifty Grant and generic villain Chekhov start to dovetail with the original mole investigation. The witty banter among Stone and friends and his frequent bedding of willing women keep the reader turning the pages to the mildly exciting showdown on a giant yacht anchored off Martha’s Vineyard. Woods seems to be treading water. Agent: Anne Sibbald, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (Jan.)
...More
 


NONFICTION
#1  (Last Week: 1 • Weeks on List: 99)  
Educated
 Tara Westover
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780399590504 To the Westovers, public education was the quickest way to put yourself on the wrong path. By the time the author, the youngest Westover, had come along, her devout Mormon parents had pulled all of their seven children out of school, preferring to teach just the essentials: a little bit of reading, a lot of scripture, and the importance of family and a hard day's work. Westover's debut memoir details how her isolated upbringing in the mountains of Idaho led to an unexpected outcome: Cambridge, Harvard, and a PhD. Though Westover's entrance into academia is remarkable, at its heart, her memoir is a family history: not just a tale of overcoming but an uncertain elegy to the life that she ultimately rejected. Westover manages both tenderness and a savage honesty that spares no one, not even herself: nowhere is this more powerful than in her relationship with her brother Shawn, her abuser and closest friend. In its keen exploration of family, history, and the narratives we create for ourselves, Educated becomes more than just a success story.--Winterroth, Amanda Copyright 2018 Booklist
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A recent Cambridge University doctorate debuts with a wrenching account of her childhood and youth in a strict Mormon family in a remote region of Idaho.It's difficult to imagine a young woman who, in her teens, hadn't heard of the World Trade Center, the Holocaust, and virtually everything having to do with arts and popular culture. But so it was, as Westover chronicles here in fairly chronological fashion. In some ways, the author's father was a classic anti-government paranoiacwhen Y2K failed to bring the end of the world, as he'd predicted, he was briefly humbled. Her mother, though supportive at times, remained true to her beliefs about the subordinate roles of women. One brother was horrendously abusive to the author and a sister, but the parents didn't do much about it. Westover didn't go to public school and never received professional medical care or vaccinations. She worked in a junkyard with her father, whose fortunes rose and fell and rose again when his wife struck it rich selling homeopathic remedies. She remained profoundly ignorant about most things, but she liked to read. A brother went to Brigham Young University, and the author eventually did, too. Then, with the encouragement of professors, she ended up at Cambridge and Harvard, where she excelledthough she includes a stark account of her near breakdown while working on her doctoral dissertation. We learn about a third of the way through the book that she kept journals, but she is a bit vague about a few things. How, for example, did her family pay for the professional medical treatment of severe injuries that several of them experienced? Andwith some justificationshe is quick to praise herself and to quote the praise of others.An astonishing account of deprivation, confusion, survival, and success. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399590504 Raised on a secluded family compound in Idaho, Westover was seven before realizing the biggest difference between her family and others was not their remote home, or their Mormon religion-but that "we don't go to school." Westover helped the family maintain a minimalist existence through construction, scrapping, and midwifery, no matter how many injuries she sustained. But when the author's wounds go untreated, leaving her mother mentally compromised and herself an object of abuse, cracks in her upbringing began to appear. Westover's brother Tyler is the first to leave home for college, later encouraging her to do the same. "There's a world out there, Tara...it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear." Starting her academic career at Brigham Young University, Westover continued to earn academic achievements, including a PhD in history from Cambridge University. VERDICT Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but for a student who started from a point of near illiteracy, Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style. With no real comparison memoir, this joins the small number of Mormon exposés of recent years. [See "Editors' Spring Picks," p. 29.-Ed.]-Jessica Bushore, Xenia, OH © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525528074 As the youngest of seven children born to fundamentalist parents in remote Idaho, seven-year-old Westover realized it was unusual that her siblings didn't go to school. Her father's distrust of government, education, and doctors meant Westover didn't have a birth certificate, medical records, or school records. Neglect and abuse were common, especially at the fists of one of her older brothers. Encouraged by another brother who got out, Westover begins the process of getting "educated" when she entered her first-ever classroom at 17 as a freshman at Brigham Young University. -Basic history-the Holocaust, the civil rights movement-was yet unknown to her, but she progressed to Cambridge, Harvard, and back to Cambridge for a PhD in history. Narrator Julia Whelan embodies Westover's steely almost detached resolve, maintaining modulated control even amid desperate, dangerous situations-broken bones, third-degree burns, gruesome accidents. She reserves her growls and bellows for the Westover men determined-yet who fail-to keep their women down. VERDICT A Mormon metamorphosis memoir is such a rarity that readers will undoubtedly be drawn to getting Educated. ["Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but...Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style": LJ 2/1/18 review of the Random hc.]-Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780399590504 A girl claws her way out of a claustrophobic, violent fundamentalist family into an elite academic career in this searing debut memoir. Westover recounts her upbringing with six siblings on an Idaho farm dominated by her father Gene (a pseudonym), a devout Mormon with a paranoid streak who tried to live off the grid, kept four children (including the author) out of school, refused to countenance doctors (Westover's mother, Faye, was an unlicensed midwife who sold homeopathic medicines), and stockpiled supplies and guns for the end-time. Westover was forced to work from the age of 11 in Gene's scrap and construction businesses under incredibly dangerous conditions; the grisly narrative includes lost fingers, several cases of severe brain trauma, and two horrible burns that Faye treated with herbal remedies. Thickening the dysfunction was the author's bullying brother, who physically brutalized her for wearing makeup and other immodest behaviors. When she finally escaped the toxic atmosphere of dogma, suspicion, and patriarchy to attend college and then grad school at Cambridge, her identity crisis precipitated a heartbreaking rupture. Westover's vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780525528050 Actor Whelan chooses a simple, straight reading of Westover's memoir about growing up in a dysfunctional, abusive fundamentalist family. It's a wise choice, partly because there are so many dramatic scenes throughout the book that it would exhaust the listener to have them dramatized, and partly because Westover portrays herself as a passive and compliant family member until the day she enters a classroom for the first time at the age of 17. Whelan creates an angry, gravelly voice for Westover's paranoid, fundamentalist Mormon father, a controlling and abusive man terrified of the influence of teachers and doctors. While preparing for the imminent end of the world, he homeschools his children and keeps them ignorant of all events outside their isolated Idaho home. Some family members are maimed by hideous accidents, and physical fights are common in the household. Still struggling with the ingrained need to be loyal to her family, Westover eventually attends college and earns a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Whelan smoothly guides listeners through Westover's physical and emotional traumas as she powerfully conveys Westover's transform from "a wicked thing" to a scholar. A Random House hardcover. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780399590504 Raised in an alternative Mormon home in rural Idaho, Westover worked as an assistant midwife to her mother and labored in her father's junkyard. Formal schooling wasn't a priority, because her parents believed that public education was government indoctrination and that Westover's future role would be to support her husband. But her older brother's violence and their family's refusal to acknowledge problems at home resulted in the teen contemplating escape through education. Admittance to Brigham Young University was difficult. Westover taught herself enough to receive a decent score on the ACT, but because of her upbringing, she didn't understand rudimentary concepts of sanitation and etiquette, and her learning curve was steep. However, she eventually thrived, earning scholarships to Harvard and Cambridge-though she grappled with whether to include her toxic family in her new life. Born in 1986, Westover interviewed family members to help her write the first half. Her well-crafted account of her early years will intrigue teens, but the memoir's second part, covering her undergraduate and graduate experiences in the "real world," will stun them. VERDICT A gripping, intimate, sometimes shocking, yet ultimately inspiring work. Perfect for fans of memoirs about overcoming traumatic childhoods or escaping from fundamentalist religious communities, such as Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle and Ruth Wariner's The Sound of Gravel.-Sarah Hill, Lake Land College, Mattoon, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
...More
  Book Jacket
#2  (Last Week: 2 • Weeks on List: 18)  
Talking To Strangers
 Malcolm Gladwell
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780316478526 The prolific, best-selling Gladwell (David and Goliath; The Tipping Point) presents an intriguing analysis of what far too often goes wrong when strangers meet, diving deeply into relatively well-known controversial public incidents thoroughly covered by the mass media to cast doubt on how the general public has come to understand these events. The deceptions of Bernie Madoff, the trial of Amanda Knox, the suicide of Sylvia Plath, the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia scandal at Pennsylvania State University, and the death of Sandra Bland highlight the premise that ordinary tools and techniques used to make sense of people we don't know have failed society. The result of this failure is further conflict and misunderstanding that impact international relations and even threaten world order. Many of the examples exemplify how race, gender, age, language, country of origin, perceived threat, challenge to authority, contextual setting, and other variables can dominate impulsive behavior that shuns connections among people. VERDICT This work should stimulate further research that could serve as control for these variables and more directly link how the factor of strangeness might influence certain reactions, providing a valuable contribution to psychology and psychiatry collections in larger university libraries.—Dale Farris, Groves, TX
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780316478526 Like his New Yorker articles and previous books, Gladwell's newest is chock-full of gripping anecdotes from the recent and forgotten past, from Amanda Knox's overturned murder conviction to the double agents who sunk the CIA's spying efforts in 1980s Cuba. He uses these riveting stories to offer up bite-size observations about how we engage with strangers. For example, we think of ourselves as complex but of strangers as straightforward. Not so, Gladwell insists. The stranger is not easy; she is never as transparent as we believe. Gladwell's case studies are thrilling, but their relevance to everyday encounters is frequently obtuse, and the takeaways from them are often buried or provocative. Ultimately, Gladwell argues that it's essential to give strangers the benefit of the doubt, even in very different situations, such as when Penn State president Graham Spanier accepted reports of Jerry Sandusky's suspicious behavior with a minor as horseplay and when Texas state trooper Brian Encinia pulled Sandra Bland over after a minor traffic infraction. Readers may find that Gladwell's alluringly simple lesson dangerously oversimplifies power dynamics in twenty-first-century America.--Maggie Taft Copyright 2010 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316478526 In this thoughtful treatise spurred by the 2015 death of African-American academic Sandra Bland in jail after a traffic stop, New Yorker writer Gladwell (The Tipping Point) aims to figure out the strategies people use to assess strangers-to "analyze [those strategies], critique them, figure out where they came from, figure out how to fix them," in other words: to understand how to balance trust and safety. He uses a variety of examples from history and recent headlines to illustrate that people size up the motivations, emotions, and trustworthiness of those they don't know both wrongly and with misplaced confidence. He relates, for example, the story of a whole cadre of American spies in Cuba who were carefully handpicked by American intelligence operatives, all of whom turned out to be pro-Castro double agents. Gladwell writes in his signature colorful, fluid, and accessible prose, though he occasionally fails to make fully clear the connection between a seemingly tangential topic such as suicide risk and the book's main questions. In addition to providing an analysis of human mental habits and interactions, Gladwell pleas for more thoughtful ways of behaving and advocates for people to embrace trust, rather than defaulting to distrust, and not to "blame the stranger." Readers will find this both fascinating and topical. Agent: Tina Bennett, William Morris Endeavor. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. The latest intellectually stimulating book from the acclaimed author.Every few years, journalist Gladwell (David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, 2013, etc.) assembles serious scientific research on oddball yet relevant subjects and then writes a bestseller. Readers expecting another everything-you-think-you-know-is-wrong page-turner will not be disappointed, but they will also encounter some unsettling truths. The author begins with a few accounts of black Americans who died at the hands of police, using the incidents to show how most of us are incompetent at judging strangers. Countless psychological studies demonstrate that humans are terrible at detecting lying. Experts such as FBI agents don't perform better. Judges interview suspects to determine if they deserve bail; they believe it helps, but the opposite is true. Computers, using only hard data, do much better. Many people had qualms about Bernie Madoff, but interviewers found him completely open and honest; "he was a sociopath dressed up as a mensch." This, Gladwell emphasizes, is the transparency problem. We believe that someone's demeanor reflects their thoughts and emotions, but it often doesn't. Gladwell's second bombshell is what he calls "default to truth." It seems like a university president resigns in disgrace every few months for the same reason: They hear accusations of abusive behavior by an employeee.g., Larry Nassar at Michigan State, Jerry Sandusky at Penn Stateconduct an investigation, but then take no action, often claiming that they did not have enough evidence of deceit. Ultimately, everyone agrees that they were criminally negligent. Another example is CIA official James Angleton, who was convinced that there was a Soviet mole in the agency; his decades of suspicion and search ruined careers and crippled American intelligence. Gladwell emphasizes that society could not function if we did not give everyone the benefit of the doubt. "To assume the best of another is the trait that has created modern society," he writes. "Those occasions when our trusting nature is violated are tragic. But the alternativeto abandon trust as a defense against predation and deceptionis worse."Another Gladwell tour de force but perhaps his most disturbing. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
...More
  Book Jacket
 
#3  (Last Week: 3 • Weeks on List: 57)  
Becoming
Book Jacket   Michelle Obama
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780525633693 Obama embodies the American dream, overcoming barriers of race, class, and gender to become one of the most influential leaders of our times. Though we stood witness to her husband’s historic ascent to become the first black U.S. president, this memoir reveals surprising, intimate details that shaped news stories and public perception. We learn how Obama struggled with the same challenges many people of color or marginalized groups face, including self-doubt—at times asking, “Am I good enough?” Yet her courage, determination, and resolve—molded by her parents, extended family, and friends—lifted her to achieve: first as an undergraduate at Princeton University, then as a law student at Harvard University, followed by her professional career in corporate law, government, and the nonprofit sector. VERDICT The audiobook may seem daunting with 19 hours of listening, but Obama’s narration moves the story quickly as it captivates. Her familiar voice personalizes the story and emotionally draws listeners deeper. The only negative for the audiobook is that it omits the photos in the print version.—Gladys Alcedo, Wallingford, CT © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781524763138 The former first lady looks back on an unlikely rise to the top while navigating issues of race and gender in this warmhearted memoir. Obama's narrative is the story of an African-American striver, born to a working-class family in a Chicago ghetto, who got Princeton and Harvard degrees and prominent jobs in law and public relations, attended at every step by the nagging question, "Am I good enough?" ("Yes I am," she answers). It's also about her struggle to keep husband Barack's high-powered political career from subsuming her identity and the placid family life she preferred to the electoral frenzy-she disavows any desire for public office herself-while she weathered misgivings over work-life balance and marital strains that required couples' counseling. Becoming the first lady ratchets up the pressure as Obama endures the Secret Service security bubble, has every public utterance and outfit attacked by opponents, gets pilloried as a closet radical, and soldiers on with healthy-food initiatives. Obama surveys most of this with calm good humor-"infuriating" Republican obstructionism and Donald Trump's "misogyny" draw her ire-while painting an admiring, sometimes romantic portrait of Barack and evoking pathos over her parents' sacrifices for their children. There are no dramatic revelations and not much overt politics here, but fans of the Obamas will find an interesting, inspiring saga of quiet social revolutions. Photos. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
...More
#4  (Last Week: 8 • Weeks on List: 18)  
Maybe You Should Talk To Someone
Book Jacket   Lori Gottlieb
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781328662057 Atlantic “Dear Therapist” advice columnist Gottlieb (Marry Him) draws on diverse experiences from her many years as a psychotherapist to offer a guided tour of the therapeutic process from the viewpoint of both therapist and patient. After experiencing an emotional crisis, Gottlieb struggles to come to terms with her own feelings, even as she continues working with long-term patients whose stories she blends into the narrative of her own; their questioning, search for meaning, and desires, guilt, and exploration of mortality all strike home as the author shares bravely open discussions with her therapist. ­Gottlieb finds herself learning powerful lessons from her patients as they untangle their emotional challenges while learning to understand her own self-image and what it genuinely means to be human. While this work nicely bridges the gap between patient and therapist, professionals in the field are advised to stick with the more solid substance found in the approaches of Victor Frankl, Carl Jung, Albert Camus, or Friedrich Nietzsche. ­VERDICT Written with grace, humor, wisdom, and compassion, this heartwarming journey of self-discovery should ­appeal to fans of Mitch Alborn and Nicholas Sparks. [See Prepub Alert, 10/29/18.]—Dale Farris, Groves, TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. A vivacious portrait of a therapist from both sides of the couch.With great empathy and compassion, psychotherapist and Atlantic columnist and contributing editor Gottlieb (Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough, 2010, etc.) chronicles the many problems facing the "struggling humans" in her stable of therapy patients. The intimate connection between patient and therapist established through the experience of psychic suffering forms the core of the memoir, as the author plumbs the multifaceted themes of belonging, emotional pain, and healing. "Therapistsdeal with the daily challenges of living just like everyone else.Our training has taught us theories and tools and techniques, but whirring beneath our hard-earned expertise is the fact that we know just how hard it is to be a person," she writes. Through Gottlieb's stories of her sessions with a wide array of clients, readers will identify with the author as both a mid-40s single mother and a perceptive, often humorous psychotherapist. In addition to its smooth, conversational tone and frank honesty, the book is also entertainingly voyeuristic, as readers get to eavesdrop on Gottlieb's therapy sessions with intriguing patients in all states of distress. She also includes tales of her appointments with her own therapist, whom she turned to in her time of personal crisis. Success stories sit alongside poignant profiles of a newly married cancer patient's desperation, a divorced woman with a stern ultimatum for her future, and women who seem stuck in a cycle of unchecked alcoholism or toxic relationships. These episodes afford Gottlieb time for insightful reflection and self-analysis, and she also imparts eye-opening insider details on how patients perceive their therapists and the many unscripted rules psychotherapists must live by, especially when spotted in public ("often when patients see our humanity, they leave us"). Throughout, the author puts a very human face on the delicate yet intensive process of psychotherapy while baring her own demons.Saturated with self-awareness and compassion, this is an irresistibly addictive tour of the human condition. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9781328662057 Therapists' private lives tend to take a backseat to their patients', but here Gottlieb (Marry Him, 2010) lifts the therapeutic veil and invites readers into her personal struggles of having a mystifying "wandering uterus" and a boyfriend who unceremoniously declares that he doesn't want to help raise her young child, let alone any other possible children. This would be interesting fodder enough, but Gottlieb plunges further into the psychological depths as she discloses how therapists keep each other honest by discussing their cases in an almost AA-like fashion. Additionally, she shares some of her clients' stories (anonymously, of course), like that of "Julie," who is dying and won't live past 35, or "Rita," who regrets not protecting her children from their alcoholic father. The coup de grace, though, is Gottlieb's vulnerability when she tackles her emotional issues in sessions with her own therapist. Some readers will know Gottlieb from her many TV appearances or her Dear Therapist column, but even for the uninitiated-to-Gottlieb, it won't take long to settle in with this compelling read.--Joan Curbow Copyright 2019 Booklist
...More
 
#5  (Last Week: 4 • Weeks on List: 13)  
Me
 Elton John
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9781250147608 The legendary pop star looks back cheerfully on a melodramatic life in this rollicking autobiography. John recounts his ascent from toiling pub pianist to becoming the biggest singer-songwriter of the 1970s with hits such as "Rocketman" and "Bennie and the Jets," to elder statesmanship as one of the first openly gay stars and Britain’s griever-in-chief with his "Candle in the Wind" tribute at Princess Di’s funeral. Beyond a vivid account of his flamboyant showmanship and outfits (think pink suit with Eiffel Tower headdress), he gives an unusually candid look at his insecurities—his unrelentingly critical mother haunts the book—and at the bubble of celebrity entitlement that enabled his rock-star excesses, including childish tantrums, controlling and callous behavior toward a string of boyfriends, and rampant drug use. (After ingesting much vodka and cocaine with Duran Duran, he "returned to the video set, demanded they begin running the cameras, took off all clothes and started rolling around on the floor naked.") John keeps his good humor throughout, treating even his suicide attempts as farces and poking fun at his own vanity. ("However much a hair transplant hurt, it was a mere pinprick compared to the sensation of hitting your head on a car door immediately after having a hair transplant.") John’s fans will love this funny, down-to-earth, and openhearted self-portrait. Photos. (Oct.)
...More
  Book Jacket
#6  (Last Week: 9 • Weeks on List: 8)  
Catch And Kill
 Ronan Farrow
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780316486637 A groundbreaking #MeToo journalist finds his own news organization to be the greatest obstacle to the truth in this vivid, labyrinthine memoir. New Yorker scribe and ex-NBC News correspondent Farrow (War on Peace) revisits his 2017 reporting on sexual assault and harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein by actresses and employees, an investigation begun but then killed by NBC and eventually published in the New Yorker. Farrow then probes sexual misconduct complaints at NBC itself, including an explosive new claim that Today host Matt Lauer raped NBC news staffer Brooke Nevils. He describes coaxing frightened women to break nondisclosure agreements and go public with their traumas, as well as more sinister currents of intrigue and betrayal. He unearths Weinstein's use of secret agents from the Israeli firm Black Cube to spy on sources—and on Farrow himself. Worse, he contends, NBC executives, some with personal and business ties to Weinstein and pressured by his lobbying and legal threats, started unaccountably turning against Farrow's story as the evidence supporting it mounted. Though a bit baggy, the narrative combines the intricate reporting of All the President's Men with Kafkaesque atmosphere to reveal troubling collusion between the media and the powerful interests they cover. This is a crackerjack journalistic thriller. (Oct.)
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. The award-winning journalist sharply illuminates how he exposed Harvey Weinstein as a serial sexual predator.Along the way, Farrow (War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence, 2018)a New Yorker contributing writer who has won the Pulitzer Prize, National Magazine Award, and George Polk Awardoffers a primer on investigative journalism, a profession that he is well on the way to mastering. For this book, he writes, he drew "on interviews with more than two hundred sources, as well as hundreds of pages of contracts, emails, and texts, and dozens of hours of audio." As the son of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow, the author has wrestled for years with allegations of sexual assault in his own family, leveled by his sister Dylan against their father. During his investigation of Weinsteinand later, multiple high-level sexual predators within NBCFarrow had to fend off complaints that he was too close to the story. Along the investigative path, the author sought insight from his sister and relied on the steadfast support of his partner. Though Farrow and his producer believed their pursuit of Weinstein had the blessing of the top brass at NBC, they gradually learned that Weinstein was using his massive influence to sabotage the investigation. Consequently, the author took his work to the New Yorker, where editor David Remnick provided a venue for him to present his story. Ultimately, Weinstein was arrested. In addition to chronicling his work on the Weinstein project, Farrow also discusses the transgressions of Donald Trump and Matt Lauer. At times, the book is difficult to read, mainly because Weinstein, Trump, Lauer, and other powerful men victimized so many women while those who knew about the assaults stayed quiet. Nonetheless, this is an urgent, significant book that pairs well with She Said by New York Times reporters Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. Both books are top-notch accounts filled with timeless insights about investigative journalism, on a par with classics from Seymour Hersh and Bob Woodward.A meticulously documented, essential work. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
...More
  Book Jacket
 
#7  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Boys & Sex
Book Jacket   Peggy Orenstein
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780307269751 The first U.S. appearance of another major Swedish crime writer is cause for celebration but also disappointment: Larsson, an acclaimed journalist as well as the author of the award-winning Millenium trilogy, of which this is the first volume, died in 2004. The editor of a magazine called Expo, which was dedicated to fighting right-wing extremism, Larsson brings his journalistic background to bear in his first novel. It is the story of a crusading reporter, Mikail Blomkvist, who has been convicted of libel for his exposé of crooked financier Wennerstrom. Then another Swedish financier, a rival of Wennerstrom, wants to hire Blomkvist to solve the decades-old disappearance of his niece from the family's island compound in the north of Sweden. If Blomkvist works on the project for a year, his employer will deliver the goods on Wennerstrom. Blomkvist takes the job and soon finds himself trying to unlock the grisly multigenerational secrets in a hideously dysfunctional family's many closets. Helping him dig through those closets is the novel's real star, the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, a ward of the state who happens to be Sweden's most formidable computer hacker and a fearless foe of women-hating men. Larsson has two great stories (and two star-worthy characters) here, and if he never quite brings them together the conclusion of the Wennerstrom campaign seems almost anticlimactic after the action-filled finale on the island the novel nevertheless offers compelling chunks of investigative journalism, high-tech sleuthing, and psychosexual drama. What a shame that we only have three books in which to watch the charismatic Lisbeth Salander take on the world!--Ott, Bill Copyright 2008 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780739370643 With its rich characterizations and intriguing plot, the first book of the late Stieg Larsson's completed trilogy, involving disgraced Swedish journalist-publisher Mikael Blomkvist and the eponymous, pierced and tattooed, emotionally troubled young hacker-investigator Lisbeth Salander, clearly deserves the acclaim it's received overseas. Martin Wenner's almost indifferent, British-accented narration would seem an odd choice for a novel filled with passion, sex and violence, but as the oddly coupled Blomkvist and Salander probe the four-decade-old disappearance of Harriet Vanger, heiress to one of Sweden's wealthiest clans, the objective approach actually accentuates the extreme behavior of both and the strange subjects of their investigation. Wenner's calm, controlled manner aids the listener in keeping track of the numerous members of the Vanger family, a task that the printed book simplifies with a reference page. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, July 14). (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780307269751 Larsson's gripping debut thriller about the decades-old disappearance of a teenage heiress exposes the darkness beneath Sweden's sunny blond veneer and introduces us to the memorable Lisbeth Salander, a tattooed, antisocial computer hacker. (LJ 8/08) (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Starred Review. Cases rarely come much colder than the decades-old disappearance of teen heiress Harriet Vanger from her family's remote island retreat north of Stockholm, nor do fiction debuts hotter than this European bestseller by muckraking Swedish journalist Larsson. At once a strikingly original thriller and a vivisection of Sweden's dirty not-so-little secrets (as suggested by its original title, Men Who Hate Women), this first of a trilogy introduces a provocatively odd couple: disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist, freshly sentenced to jail for libeling a shady businessman, and the multipierced and tattooed Lisbeth Salander, a feral but vulnerable superhacker. Hired by octogenarian industrialist Henrik Vanger, who wants to find out what happened to his beloved great-niece before he dies, the duo gradually uncover a festering morass of familial corruption—at the same time, Larsson skillfully bares some of the similar horrors that have left Salander such a marked woman. Larsson died in 2004, shortly after handing in the manuscripts for what will be his legacy. 100,000 first printing. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. First U.S. publication for a deceased Swedish author (1954–2004); this first of his three novels, a bestseller in Europe, is a labored mystery. It's late 2002. Mikael Blomkvist, reputable Stockholm financial journalist, has just lost a libel case brought by a notoriously devious tycoon. He's looking at a short jail term and the ruin of his magazine, which he owns with his best friend and occasional lover, Erika Berger. The case has brought him to the attention of Henrik Vanger, octogenarian, retired industrialist and head of the vast Vanger clan. Henrik has had a report on him prepared by Lisbeth Salander, the eponymous Girl, a freaky private investigator. The 24-year-old Lisbeth is a brilliant sleuth, and no wonder: She's the best computer hacker in Sweden. Henrik hires Mikael to solve an old mystery, the disappearance of his great-niece Harriet, in 1966. Henrik is sure she was murdered; every year the putative killer tauntingly sends him a pressed flower on his birthday (Harriet's custom). He is equally sure one of the Vangers is the murderer. They're a nasty bunch, Nazis and ne'er-do-wells. There are three story lines here: The future of the magazine, Lisbeth's travails (she has a sexually abusive guardian) and, most important, the Harriet mystery. This means an inordinately long setup. Only at the halfway point is there a small tug of excitement as Mikael breaks the case and enlists Lisbeth's help. The horrors are legion: Rape, incest, torture and serial killings continuing into the present. Mikael is confronted by an excruciating journalistic dilemma, resolved far too swiftly as we return to the magazine and the effort to get the evil tycoon, a major miscalculation on Larsson's part. The tycoon's empire has nothing to do with the theme of violence against women which has linked Lisbeth's story to the Vanger case, and the last 50 pages are inevitably anticlimactic. Juicy melodrama obscured by the intricacies of problem-solving. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780307269751 Ever since Knopf editor Sonny Mehta bought the U.S. rights last November, the prepublication buzz on this dark, moody crime thriller by a Swedish journalist has grown steadily. A best seller in Europe (it outsold the Bible in Denmark), this first entry in the "Millennium" trilogy finally lands in America. Is the hype justified? Yes. Despite a sometimes plodding translation and a few implausible details, this complex, multilayered tale, which combines an intricate financial thriller with an Agatha Christie-like locked-room mystery set on an island, grabs the reader from the first page. Convicted of libeling a prominent businessman and awaiting imprisonment, financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist agrees to industrialist Henrik Vanger's request to investigate the 40-year-old disappearance of Vanger's 16-year-old niece, Harriet. In return, Vanger will help Blomkvist dig up dirt on the corrupt businessman. Assisting in Blomkvist's investigation is 24-year-old Lisbeth Salander, a brilliant but enigmatic computer hacker. Punkish, tattooed, sullen, antisocial, and emotionally damaged, she is a compelling character, much like Carol O'Connell's Kathy Mallory, and this reviewer looks forward to learning more of her backstory in the next two books (The Girl Who Played with Fire and Castles in the Sky). Sweden may be the land of blondes, Ikea, and the Midnight Sun, but Larsson, who died in 2004, brilliantly exposes its dark heart: sexual violence against women, a Nazi past, and corporate corruption. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/1/03.]--Wilda Williams, Library Journal (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780307269751 Wealthy young Harriet Vanger disappeared 40 years ago, and Uncle Henrik always thought she was murdered. Now he's drafted a hotshot journalist and a tattooed hacker to investigate. An expert on right-wing extremists, Swedish author Larsson died in 2004. This international best seller arrives here with a 100,000-copy first printing. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
...More
#8  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 11)  
Range
Book Jacket   David Epstein
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780735214484 Epstein follows up The Sports Gene, which explored the roots of elite sport performance, with this intriguing analysis of successful artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters, scientists, and athletes. The author's revelation is that generalists, not specialists, are more primed to excel, with generalists often finding their path late and participating in many interests. The author's refreshing viewpoint is based on deep research into what characterizes successful professional performance. Instead of intense specialization, Epstein suggests professionals strive to cultivate inefficiency, fail tests in order to learn, and explore various career scenarios, arguing that deep knowledge in a single area can limit a person's agility and creativity. This will likely stir controversy in the field of professional sports, but the push to focus early and narrowly extends well beyond sports, says the author, as evidenced in Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers and Matthew Syed's Bounce. VERDICT All readers eager to look into the next trench over for innovative ideas to solve their problems will welcome this remarkable, densely packed work that will prove essential for all university libraries supporting AAA level athletics programs, colleges of business, and human resource development.-Dale Farris, Groves, TX © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780735214484 Those who take the circuitous path find success more often than we realize. In his astute call for us to question what we think we know about effective skill development, Epstein (The Sports Gene, 2013) states that much of what we assume about hyperspecialization is wrong. Rather than dedicate oneself to a life path as early as possible, experimentation and a slow development of broad knowledge provide noticeable advantages. Because real-world problems don't exist in a vacuum with stable, consistent rules, decisions made by a hyperspecialist can at times create worse outcomes. Postulating that relying upon experience from a single domain is not only limiting, it can be disastrous, Epstein explains why, instead of depth, breadth is the most important factor in determining success. A more robust exchange of information between fields allows people with range to make new connections. Epstein cites many discoveries and innovations that could have only been made through the interaction of multiple disciplines. Equally entertaining and enlightening, this will appeal to readers with an eye on the future.--Kenneth Otani Copyright 2019 Booklist
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780735214484 Journalist and self-identified generalist Epstein (The Sporting Gene) delivers an enjoyable if not wholly convincing work of Gladwellian pop-psychology aimed at showing that specialization is not the only path to success. His survey finds no shortage of notable athletes, artists, inventors, and businesspeople who followed atypically circuitous paths. Some are household names, such as J.K. Rowling, who by her own admission "failed on an epic scale" before deciding to pursue writing, and Duke Ellington, who briefly studied music as a child before becoming more interested in basketball and drawing, only returning to music after a chance encounter with ragtime. Others are more obscure, such as Nintendo's Gunpei Yokoi, who turned his limitations as an electronics engineer to his advantage when he created the cheap-to-produce, durable Game Boy, and Jack Cecchini, "one of the rare musicians who is world class in both jazz and classical." Epstein's narrative case studies are fascinating, but the rapid-fire movement from one sketch to the next can create the impression of evidence in search of a thesis. While this well-crafted book does not entirely disprove the argument for expertise, Epstein does show that, for anyone without 10,000 hours to devote to mastering a single skill, there is hope yet. Agent: Chris Parris-Lamb, Gernert Company. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. Why diverse experience and experimentation are important components of professional accomplishment.Arguing against the idea that narrow specialization leads to success, journalist Epstein (The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance, 2013) mounts convincing evidence that generalists bring more skill, creativity, and innovation to work in all fields. The author begins by contrasting the career trajectories of Tiger Woods, who began training as a golfer before he was 1, and Roger Federer, who dabbled in a range of sports before, as a teenager, he "began to gravitate more toward tennis." Although he started later than players who had worked with coaches, sports psychologists, and nutritionists from early childhood, a late start did not impede his development. His story, Epstein discovered, is common. When psychologists have studied successful individuals' "paths to excellence," they have found "most common was a sampling period" followed only later by focus and increased structure. "Hyperspecialization," writes the author, is not a requisite for achievement, and he offers abundant lively anecdotes from music, the arts, business, science, technology, and sports. Drawing on studies by cognitive psychologists and educators, Epstein examines how knowledge develops and, equally important, how it is assessed. He distinguishes between teaching strategies that emphasize repeated practice, leading to "excellent immediate performance" on tests, and "interleaving," an approach that develops inductive reasoning, in which students "learn to create abstract generalizations that allow them to apply what they learned to material they have never encountered before." Interleaving, he asserts, applies to both physical and mental skills: to a pianist and mathematician as well as to Shaquille O'Neal. The author critiques higher education for rushing students to specialization even though "narrow vocational training" will not prepare them for jobs "in a complex, interconnected, rapidly changing world." Although he admits "that passion and perseverance" are important precursors of excellence, "a change of interest, or a recalibration of focus" can also be critical to success.A fresh, brisk look at creativity, learning, and the meaning of achievement. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
...More
 
#9  (Last Week: 5 • Weeks on List: 13)  
The Body
 Bill Bryson
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. The intrepid explorer and popular travel writer journeys inwardliterallyto explore our mortal coil.A narrative by Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain, 2016, etc.) rarely involves the unfolding of a grand thesis; instead, it's a congeries of anecdotes, skillfully strung, always a pleasure to read but seldom earthshakingly significant. So it is here. The author does some on-the-ground digging, talking to scientists and physicians, while plowing through libraries of literature to get at the story of how our bodies work. Early on, he pokes at the old bromide that the human body is an assemblage of a few dollars' worth of assorted chemicals and minerals. Not so, he writes: We're made up of 59 elements, including carbon and oxygen. But, he adds, "who would have thought that we would be incomplete without some molybdenum inside us, or vanadium, manganese, tin, and copper?" Bryson employs the example of an "obliging Benedict Cumberbatch," of medium height and build and good health, to venture that the real cost of a human is "a very precise $151,578.46," a figure that turns out to wiggle and wobble as we layer on additional costs. As ever, the author collects lovely oddments and presents them as so many glittering marbles: The largest protein in the body is titin, whose "chemical name is 189,819 letters long, which would make it the longest word in the English language except that dictionaries don't recognize chemical names." The heart, which, Bryson notes, doesn't really look like a valentine, does only one thing: It beats, "slightly more than once every second, about 100,000 times a day, up to 2.5 billion times in a lifetime." Along the way, the author considers whether the old surgical practice of bleeding was really a good thing to do (it wasn't), how "cytokine storms" work, and what the winning combination is for a long lifeone factor is wealth: "Someone who is otherwise identical to you but poorcan expect to die between ten and fifteen years sooner."A pleasing, entertaining sojourn into the realm of what makes us tick. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Book list From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission. 9780385539302 Mysterious and miraculous, the human body is more than a masterfully engineered biological machine. And Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling, 2016) serves as a delightful tour guide to nearly every component, protuberance, and crevice of it: skin, brain, sensory apparatus, heart, blood, bones, lungs, guts, immune system, genitourinary organs. Sleep, memory, hormones, pain, and aging are also explored. Peculiar bodily functions hiccups, yawning, crying are examined. We produce three types of tears (lubricating, reflex, and emotional). We blink about 14,000 times a day. The plethora of facts presented runs the gamut from mind-boggling to bizarre. A teaspoon of human blood contains around 25-billion erythrocytes. A typical American will eat about 60 tons (yes, tons!) of food during a lifetime. At the other end, an adult will eliminate roughly 180 pounds of poop annually. The runty Y chromosome has been shrinking for millions of years. Fifty-nine elements are necessary to build a body. Carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorous make up about 99-percent of it, but would you have guessed a bit of tin and zirconium are necessary, too? Bryson's splendid stroll through human anatomy, physiology, evolution, and illness (diabetes, cancer, infections) is instructive, accessible, and entertaining.--Tony Miksanek Copyright 2010 Booklist
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9780385539302 Best known for his travel and history of science books, Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling; A Short History of Nearly Everything) combines both genres in this journey through the human body. Traveling from head to toe, he describes the anatomical machinery of the body; explains the workings of hormones, digestion, and sleep; and examines topics ranging from the vital role of our microbiome to the current antibiotic crisis. He dispels a number of persistent myths (we should drink eight glasses of water a day) and reports that the flu may be our greatest potential health risk. While applauding the advances made by medical science in the two past centuries, Bryson is quick to point out that the body remains "a universe of mystery." He keeps the science lively by interweaving facts and statistics with anecdotes, interviews with scientists and doctors, and his trademark dry humor. VERDICT Bryson has shaped an enormous amount of anatomy and physiology into an informative and entertaining biostory. Recommended for Bryson fans and nonspecialists interested in human health and biology.—Cynthia Lee Knight, Hunterdon Cty. Historical Soc., Flemington, NJ
Publishers Weekly (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved 9780385539302 Bryson (The Road to Little Dribbling), known for his travel narratives and, more recently, popular scientific works, turns his humorous and curious eye to the human body. Through anecdotes about scientific history and startling facts that seem too extraordinary to be true—the DNA in one person, if stretched out, would measure billions of miles and reach beyond Pluto—Bryson draws the reader into his subject. Tracing the beginnings of the modern understanding of the human body, Bryson introduces his audience to such foundational figures as Henry Gray, whose book Anatomy: Descriptive and Surgical (better known as Gray’s Anatomy) has taught generations of medical students since its first publication in 1858, and Wilbur Olin Atwater, a chemist whose 1898 The Chemical Composition of American Food Materials “remained the last word on diet and nutrition for a generation.” Bryson also describes the often bewildering mystery of diseases, the science of pain, and the advances made in medical treatment, all with care and concern. Bryson’s tone is both informative and inviting, encouraging the reader, throughout this exemplary work, to share the sense of wonder he expresses at how the body is constituted and what it is capable of. (Oct.)
...More
  Book Jacket
#10  (Last Week: - • Weeks on List: 1)  
Successful Aging
 Daniel J Levitin
Library Journal (c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. 9781524744182 As you might expect, the author of the New York Times best sellers This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind has a lot to say about what happens when our brains age. He cites the years after 60 as a unique developmental stage with its own distinctive advantages and challenges and shows us how to make the best of them. Almost like neuroscientific self-help.
Kirkus Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission. An enthusiastic review of old and new research into the means of extending life.Neuroscientist Levitin (Emeritus, Psychology and Neuroscience/McGill Univ.; A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, 2016) emphasizes "that it is the interactions of genes, culture, and opportunity that are the biggest determinants of the trajectory our lives take; how our brains will change; and whether or not we'll be healthy, engaged, and happy throughout the lifespan." He adds that since our years are divided into what he calls "healthspan" and "diseasespan," we should aim to prolong the former. As background, he devotes more than half the text to a fine overview of brain function, human physiology, and psychology that supports his point. Good genes are necessary but not sufficient; upbringing and environment play an essential role, and both work best if one takes advantage of opportunities. Real science books have minuscule audiences compared with books that promise the secrets of perfect health; Levitin, a genuine scientist, aims to enjoy the best of both worlds. Some of his breathless prescriptions are old favoriteshappy people live longer; eat mostly plants; have lots of friends; don't retirebut he relies heavily on legitimate science, so readers will encounter life-extenders supported by studies (although not in humans) such as calorie restriction, metformin, and rapamycin, as well as long-in-the-tooth favorites like antioxidants and fish oil, which he advocates for while admitting that recent studies are not impressive. Warning against popular nonsense, the author nevertheless includes a generous selection of nutrients, lifestyles, and pharmaceuticals supported by little more than reasonable theories or obsessively health-conscious colleagues. Levitin seems to underestimate his skill as an educator, and he has written a lucid explanation of brain and body function. His longevity advice has plenty of competition, especially David Sinclair's Lifespan, but this book's breadth is impressive.Excellent popular science in the service of fending off aging. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
...More
  Book Jacket
 

Back